A program that employs homeless Memphians for various clean-up projects around town is expanding to more days of operation per week and will start paying participants higher wages, Mayor Jim Strickland announced last week.
When it launched last November, the Work Local initiative ran just two days a week and paid participants $9 an hour.
Now, it will run five days days a week, paying workers $10 per hour, thanks to $175,000 of additional funding from the city’s Division of Public Works.
The initiative is carried out by local resource center for the city’s homeless population, Hospitality Hub of Memphis. Its staff drives a van around Downtown Memphis offering homeless Memphians work, lunch, and connections to social services.
Since launching last year, close to 400 participants have benefitted from the program and have picked up more than 70,000 pounds of trash from around the city.
In a Facebook post last week, Mayor Strickland said of the initiative's expansion: “This is City government at its best: Innovating and working with great community partners to positively affect the lives of homeless Memphians. I was so proud to work with the Hospitality Hub and so many others to get this off the ground last year, and I’m even prouder today that we can expand to serve more Memphians”